NEW BRITAIN, CT- The Robert Morris Colonials arrived in Detrick Gym 11-1 in the NEC to take on a Blue Devils team that was on a 4 game winning streak and had reached 6-6 in the all important conference standings. The hope for Central would be to upset RMU and capture an above five hundred record in conference, but the Colonials just did not let that happen. RMU’s Rob Robinson struck first but Central’s Devan Bailey matched that, and Markey’s Deans drained a 3. He later was fouled and hit a free throw to make it 6-2. RMU came back for 2, but Joe Seymore got on the board for CCSU. Robinson returned fire for the Colonials over the D, and it was 8-6, but Seymore then hit a three to the crowd’s delight as the Devils went up by 5.
RMU”s Russell Johnson cut the deficit quickly with a 3 of his own and two more Colonial points followed to tie it. Central regained the lead with 2, but Karon Abraham hit a three ball and the Colonials had the lead 14-13.
David Simmons made a scoring move for Central, but was fouled in the process, he made one free throw to tie things up. Neither team scored for a bit in the first, but Abraham broke the scoring drought to regain the lead for Rob Morris. Josiah Whitehead added to the lead when he scored and was fouled. Robinson spin around the D to add another 2.
Central finally broke the run, when Deans was fouled and hit a free throw to bring the game to 15-21. But a Colonial hit another 3 pointer putting the lead at 9. CCSU missed a couple open 3s, and RMU tacked on a pair more. Deans was fouled again and he made one to bring the deficit to 10. Mezie Nwigwe of the Colonials drove through the defenders an laid it in, but Central’s Joe Efese hit two from the side to keep the lead from growing.
The Blue Devils stole the ball on the next possession and Vince Rosario hit an open 3 bringing the score to 21-28, though Johnson responded with a two pointer. Shemik Thompson fed Deans under the rim and he scored 2, and later Rosario was fed on a drive and Central had cut the lead to 25-30. RMU’s Gary Wallace made a move at the net and succeeded , though Thompson responded with another 3 and the lead was now just 28-32.
Wallace hit a three, with less than 2 to play, and a foul later on gave Velton Jones two free throws and the Colonials were back up 28-37. Central would score four more points in the closing moments of the half though and trailed 32-37 as the buzzer rang.
The 2nd half resumed with Jones hitting a 3 to enlarge the RMU lead, though Thompson scored two for the Blue Devils. Before long it was 36-43 off a Dallas Green slam for RMU. The visitors kept up the scoring and at 15:48 to play it was 36-47. Robinson hit two more and it was 36-49, though another foul on Deans gave him a chance to hit 1, but Abraham was fouled soon after and he hit 2, so the score was 37-51 and things were looking a bit dire. Whitehead spun under the net and scored two more. Yet another foul on Deans resulted in yet another set of free throws of which he hit 1 of 2 yet again. RMU scored two more and the score with 11:20 to play was 38-53.
CCSU roared back scoring six unanswered, and Thompson was fouled. He hit one and then was fouled again and the score was 47-55. Nwigwe responded to add to the lead, though Efese hit a free throw to bring things to 48-57. Abraham delivered a painful shot when he hit a 3, but Rosario nailed a 3. 51-60 with about 5 to play. Robinson made it through the D unscathed and the lead was back to 11. A teammate fed Thompson and he laid it to cut things back to 9 53-62, but time was running out. Some free throws later the RMU lead expanded a bit. When Green slammed it the lead was 65-54 in favor of the Colonials. Thompson was fouled and hit both free throws, and Efese slammed one home right after. Each team traded points to make it 58-67, but time was almost up and it RMU would take the win 69-60.
It’s one of those games where the final score didn’t reflect how close it was at times, though Central was playing catchup for much of the game. Still there were plenty of times where Robert Morris was not scoring much either.